Who should take this program?
If you are a high-achieving university student or professional who would like to take a full-time schedule of credit-bearing classes at UC San Diego or UC San Diego Extension while studying alongside American university students, the University and Professional Studies (UPS) program might be right for you. With UPS, it is possible to study at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, across nearly all the departments at UC San Diego.
In fall, winter, and spring quarters, you can take a full-time program (12-units) consisting of UC San Diego and/or UC San Diego Extension courses for university credit. The following are examples of some of the subjects that previous University and Professional Studies students have studied:
Business (upper-division undergraduate business courses through the Rady School of Management and graduate international business courses through the School of Global Policy and Strategy)
Spanish for Communication
Stem Cell Biology
and many more
Enrollment in all classes is on a space-available basis and requires an instructor and/or departmental approval.
Note: UC San Diego Extension courses in Master of Advanced Studies programs, graduate business courses at the Rady School of Management or any courses in the School of Medicine or Pharmacy are not permitted for enrollment through UPS. The availability of graduate-level courses in other departments is strictly controlled for prerequisites.
Winter: December 29, 2020 - March 20, 2021
Spring: March 22 - June 11
Summer: June 17 - September 11
Fall: September 20 - December 11
We carefully review the background and qualifications of each applicant to ensure that those admitted to the University and Professional Studies (UPS) program will have a successful experience. The minimum acceptance requirements are listed below.
Language Proficiency Requirements
There are three different language proficiency tracks for UPS.
UPS Track 1 English Proficiency Requirement:
TOEFL internet-based: 80
Cambridge Advanced Exam: Pass
DAAD Oral interaction—4 stars (4/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—4 stars (4/5)
Track 1 Course Distribution (12 credits):
Maximum of 4 main campus credits (including all subjects available for all tracks)
3 credits in either Oral Presentations or Academic Writing & Research
5 credits in Extension courses (Business, Engineering, Computer Science, etc.)
UPS Track 2 English Proficiency Requirement:
TOEFL internet-based: 85
Cambridge Advanced Exam: Pass
DAAD Oral interaction—5 stars (5/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—4 stars (4/5)
Track 2 Course Distribution (12 credits):
Maximum of 8 main campus credits (including all subjects available for all tracks)
4 units of Extension courses (Business, Engineering, Computer Science, etc.)
UPS Track 3 English Proficiency Requirement:
TOEFL internet-based: 90
Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Exams: Pass
DAAD Oral interaction—5 stars (5/5), Reading—4 stars (4/5), Writing—5 stars (5/5)
Track 3 Course Distribution (12 credits):
12 units of main campus or Extension courses ​
Additional Admission Requirements for all tracks
A copy of transcripts in English for the two most recent years of academic studies. Transcripts must clearly indicate excellent academic achievement – the top 10% in his/her school.
UPS Course List Form of 12-15 courses per quarter, organized by quarter, that you would like to take at UC San Diego or UC San Diego Extension. Students must use the UPS Course List Form to submit their selections.
A one-page statement explaining your reasons for choosing UC San Diego for your study abroad experience.
Once admitted into the program, students must maintain above-average final grades in all coursework (“B” or better).
12-13 weeks each quarter
Monday – Friday (occasional Saturday workshops)
Schedule varies depending on classes chosen
Note: Participating in this educational program does not provide preference in admission to the University of California (UC) degree programs. Students interested in applying to UC degree programs should refer to the UC Admissions website or the websites of other UC campuses they wish to attend for details about their admissions process.
Cost (in U.S. dollars)
Application Fee: $200 (nonrefundable)
FedEx fee: $50 (optional, but recommended)
2021 Tuition: $7,800
International Student Service Fee: $380 per quarter
UC San Diego Extension medical insurance: $585 per quarter
Books/Materials: Approximately $200-$800 per quarter (Payment cannot be made in advance. Books and materials must be purchased upon arrival at UC San Diego.)
"My goals for my year abroad were to meet new people from all over the world and also maintain a high academic level. The University and Professional Studies program at UC San Diego has introduced me to people from all over the world, which I consider very good friends now, and my classes have been tough, but extremely interesting. I’ve also enjoyed spending time outdoors in beautiful weather and being able to surf almost every day all year long."
Haakon Hukkelaas, Norway